Can you believe this sign is real?
This photo was taken on Tuesday, May 3, 2016, on primary election day at a Vanderburgh County voting center located at Nativity Catholic Church, 3635 Pollack Avenue in Evansville, Indiana. Seriously. After receiving several calls about this polling location, we sent an IPAS advocate to investigate. Our advocate was told that the polling location was in the basement and inaccessible because the elevator broke about a week ago and hadn't been fixed.
The requirement to have accessible voting locations is clear. The U.S. Department of Justice has extensive information on elected officials’ obligation to select polling places that are accessible to people with disabilities (see e.g., http://www.ada.gov/votingchecklist.htm). There is even guidance on what to do in this very situation, "[I]f a church's basement is used as a polling place and it is not accessible, perhaps one of the ground floor rooms could be used as the accessible voting area." But apparently, the individuals in charge of polling at this location focused more on making a flashy, yet offensively-worded sign, than on making sure voters with disabilities were able to cast their ballot. In the time it took to glue the bright blue and red bubble letters to the sign, an accessible alternative for this location could have been implemented.
IPAS is interested in talking to any voter with a disability who attempted to vote at this or any other polling location but were turned away due to problems with accessibility. Contact us toll free at 1-800-622-4845, TTY: 1-800-838-1131, or by email at email@example.com.
The right to vote is fundamental. It's time that those in charge of choosing and overseeing polling places take that right seriously.
IPAS Commission quarterly meeting - Public welcome
Saturday, May 14th at 9:30AM, Commission members will meet at IPAS office. Public and media welcome. Click here to view agenda
Legal Director Melissa Keyes Featured in Indiana Lawyer
Her piece, "An alternative alternative dispute resolution process," was published in the May 4th edition of the Indiana Lawyer. Click here to read full article
NEW FACT SHEETS PAGE ADDED TO WEBSITE
You will find fact sheets on several important topics coming to this new page. Our first fact sheet is on the newly enacted Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. Fact sheets can be found under the IPAS Resources menu at left or click here for more information
LAWSUIT CHALLENGES STATE LAW PROHIBITING INDIVIDUALS WITH MENTAL ILLNESS RESIDING IN INSTITUTIONAL SETTINGS FROM VOTING IN THAT FACILITY’S PRECINCT
IPAS and ACLU of Indiana have filed a class action lawsuit against the State of Indiana, the Indiana Secretary of State, the Clerk of Jefferson County, and members of the Indiana Election Commission alleging that an Indiana state law is unconstitutional as it imposes an undue burden on people with mental illness who reside in institutions in exercising their right to vote... Click here to read press release. Click here to read full complaint.
FAIR HOUSING LAWSUIT ALLEGING DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION FILED AGAINST SENIOR LIVING COMMUNITY IN INDIANAPOLIS
Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana and IPAS have filed a federal lawsuit against the owners of Capitol Station apartment complex on Indianapolis' south side. The complaint alleges that the defendants did not take timely action to repair the only elevator in an apartment building which housed residents age 62 years or older. Many residents of Capitol Station had mobility issues which were readily apparent, for whom taking the stairs was dangerous or impossible. Read more below.Click here to read press release. Click here to read full complaint.
FAIR HOUSING CENTER OF CENTRAL INDIANA AND INDIANA PROTECTION AND ADVOCACY SERVICES ANNOUNCE LAWSUIT ALLEGING DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION
FHCCI and IPAS have filed a federal lawsuit against the Grandville Cooperative, Inc. and Kirkpatrick Management Co. Inc. of Indianapolis. The complaint alleges that defendants refused to rent to a family that included a person with disabilities.
Click here to read IPAS press release.
Click here to read full complaint.
ACLU OF INDIANA, INDIANA PROTECTION AND ADVOCACY SERVICES ANNOUNCE SETTLEMENT WITH INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONA proposed agreement has been reached in this long-running case brought by ACLU of Indiana and IPAS against IDOC. Pending notice to the class and approval by the courts, this proposed agreement represents fundamental changes in treatment of prisoners with serious mental illness.
Click here for to read IPAS press release.
Click here to read the full proposed settlement.
MEDIA PRESS KITIt can be found under the IPAS Resources menu at left or click here for more information.
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Check out Our Goals for 2016
The official goals for FY 2016 at IPAS can be found here.